Making Alfie blonde

I wrote Alfreida Hamlin of COWBOY WANTS HER HEART as a dark-haired girl. Don’t know why – she just seemed right that way. But could I find an acceptable photo of a beautiful brunette and a cowboy for the cover? I spent endless hours searching the photo sites.

I have to tell you cowboy shots include a lot of silly send-ups, total hayseeds, and horses stealing the limelight. Things like this.


And yes, I’ve chosen some to give you a laugh, but there are a whole series featuring each of these couples. Get your hands off her bottom, boy! And what were you thinking - wearing heels like that on the ranch?

A solitary cowboy is easier, but I didn’t want him on his own. He needed his girl. In the end I settled for a couple who were a few years too old, and not enough like the Alfie and Rory I had in mind.

When things aren’t right, they niggle away at me, and my cowboy quest quietly continued. Then, when I least expected it, there they were. But she was blonde! I gritted my teeth and tried to ignore the shot. But… western hat… man who looked well worth knowing… girl planting a nice kiss on him…

Shame she was blonde.

In the world of ebooks, everything is possible. I bought the shot anyway, and sent it off to my cover designer with several pieces of scenery to consider for the base panel. (This is why you see the iStock watermarks on this mock-up.) Nice result?


The scene is Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island, with iconic New Zealand cabbage trees. Anything less like a cabbage I can’t imagine, but the fresh inner leaves of the rosettes are edible – and indeed my dear old Dad did eat them when he was shepherding many years ago.

I’ll be buying the proper photo tomorrow, and by the time the cover is finished I’ll have completed the peroxide job on my feisty little heroine. Starting at page one, every mention of dark hair, chocolate waves, or shining ebony locks will be changed to blonde, fair, pale, golden, sunny or otherwise attractively light. Am I mad? Yup! And fussy.

If you fancy trying a marriage of convenience novel that’s one long seduction, give me a few days to send Alfie to the hairdresser, and for the new cover to show up on my website If you find any more mentions of dark hair in it, let me know exactly where through the email link on my website and I’ll send you a free copy of my latest book, HARD TO REGRET. That'll keep me on my toes!

Now where did I put those rubber gloves?